October marks the start of Singapore’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month!


In conjunction with October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here are some important breast cancer facts!

Breast cancer is the commonest cancer in Singaporean women.

1 in 11 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

More than 400 women each year die from breast cancer.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer? 

The presence of a breast lump, abnormal nipple discharge or changes to the skin of the breast and nipple are some of the common presentations of breast cancer.

However, breast cancer in its early stages may have no obvious symptoms at all.

What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

1. Age

Your risk of breast cancer increases with age.

70% of breast cancer cases occur in women who are older than 40.

However, cases of breast cancer have been detected in females as early as their 20s.

2. Family history 

If you have a first degree relative that has breast cancer, you are at increased risk of having it too.

Women who have a positive family history should start breast cancer screening early, in their 30s.

3. Genetics

Carriers of the cancer genes, BRCA-1 and BRCA-2, have a 45-65 percent chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime.

Importantly, these defective genes also increase the risk of ovarian cancer (cancer of the ovaries).

4. Menstrual history 

Any of the factors below increase your chances of having breast cancer:

Early onset of menstruation before age 11

No prior childbirth

First childbirth after 35 years old

Menopause after the age of 55

5. Hormones 

The use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in post menopausal women can increase your risk of breast cancer. However, this risk is reversible after cessation of HRT.

6. Lifestyle

High fat intake, increased alcohol consumption, high body mass index, and reduced physical activity may all contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer.

How do I protect myself from breast cancer? 

The majority of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have risk factors!

Therefore, the best way to protect yourself from breast cancer is to undergo regular breast examination and screening.

Breast screening usually involves a mammogram, or an ultrasound of the breasts.

Screening is recommended for women above the age of 40. However, if you have risk factors, talk to your doctor about screening at an earlier age.

Breast Cancer Screening – Frequently Asked Questions? 

Click onto the post below to find out more.


Need a Female Doctor?

Having Women’s Health concerns? Please visit or contact our partner clinics at their Women’s Clinic in Singapore. They are open on weekends too. For more information, please visit DTAP Clinic website, or email them at